Nobody likes being broken up with.

Elle Woods, in particular, hates it. She doesn’t let her wannabe-senator boyfriend, Warner Huntingon III, off the hook easily when he tells her that he thinks she’s more of a “Marilyn” than a “Jackie,” a nonstarter for the political career he plans.

Elle bites back, scoring a 179 on her law school aptitude test. That and her 4.0 GPA win her a seat in Harvard Law School and a chance to get back at, and with, Warner.

That is the premise of “Legally Blonde,” the 2001 movie that was based on a novel of the same name and later turned into a Broadway musical. Those productions, the film in particular, have become the stuff of legend.

There’s Elle’s Harvard application video, in which she objects to a man wolf-whistling at her on the street; the moment when Elle, originally played by Reese Witherspoon, shows up at a law school party in a Playboy bunny costume; and, of course, the now-iconic scene that gave pop culture the “bend and snap.”

“Legally Blonde” is a big production and, starting Thursday, thespians at Jackson Hole High School will take the musical on in its entirety. Though they have had a little help from Marcy Harton, a high school English and drama teacher, and some local actors and choreographers, the students are in charge, with senior Lucy Kirkley, 18, at the helm as director.

When the curtain goes up for the first time Thursday night and the student actors take the stage to wish Woods well on her fateful date with Warner, the play — its songs, script and costumes included — will become theirs. It’s the students’ show, after all.

“It’s pretty exhilarating,” said freshman Dillon Hanna, 15, who is set to play Professor Callahan. “When the adults go away, it’s in our hands. We can do whatever we want with it.

“It’s proof of our work ... that we’ve done our jobs, and it’s going to be a good show.”

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7062 or

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